REFLECTION

Environment 25 February 2016 Yayasan SHEEP Indonesia

Used Bottle and Smells

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"Alternative Rice Bug Leptocorisa Oratorius (Fabricius) Control designed by Peasants in Babo Village, Bandar Pusaka Subdistrict - Aceh Tamiang".

A number of peasants in Babo Village, Bandar Pusaka Subdistrict Aceh Tamiang apply SRI (System of Rice Intensification) to grow rice. They find some rice grains are hollow, being sucked empty by rice bugs. In response, Eko Ariyanto (Alumni of Agricultural Institute in Jogjakarta) is working closely with YSI in agriculture innovation in East Aceh and Aceh Tamiang, and is offering an effective way of dealing with the problem  to install traps.

Eko says that rice bugs love unpleasant odours. For this reason, he makes specially-designed bug traps out of used plastic (mineral) water. He puts special volatile substance in the traps that emits special scent to attract rice bugs. This basic ingredient of the substance is either shrimp paste or rotten fish and cooking oil or other sticky substances. The incoming bugs will thus get trapped inside the bottle. Once everything is ready, the traps are attached to a pole set up along the edges of the rice-fields. The more traps there are the more bugs they could contain.

The chairperson of Peasant Group Babo Jaya, Syaiful Syahputra has used the traps in his rice-field and confirms their effectiveness. He could get 10-17 bugs in one trap in one day. More traps means more bugs being traps and less bug attacks. One thing to remember is that traps should be installed during the generative stage of rice plants for the traps to work most effectively. The timing would allow for maximum effects on the development and growth of bugs, hence preventing large infestation at the mature-age of rice plants.

Peasants must keep watch of the traps they install, and clean out the dead bugs and replace the substance because they evaporate easily or they get diluted by rain water. The Rice Research Institute (Balai Besar Penelitian Tanaman Padi) notes fifty percent reduction in harvest in 2009 from bugs attacks alone. It estimates that a population of 100.000 bugs per hectare could reduce harvest by 25%. Research shows that a population of 5 bugs per 9 rice plants will reduce harvest by 15%. The relationship between rice bug density and reduction in harvest is such that one bug could reduce harvest of one rice tree by 27% in one week.

Rice bugs' latin name is Leptocorisa oratorius. Rice bugs are insects with hard and thick front wings, and membranous and folded rear wings. They experience metamorphosis process starting with egg-stage, nymphs and imago (Harahap and Tjahyono, 1997). They are pests and cause damages in plants that affect harvests. They suck the liquid nutrition in plants that result in hollow grains (for rice). They could attack rice, beans, green beans, long beans and yellow beans by puncturing their rostrum (the piercing mouthpart) to access the nutrition in plants. Damage usually occurs during generative or flowering stage.

For plant life, rice bugs are potential pests that result in hollow grains, which reduce quality and quantity of harvests. (Eko Ariyanto/Husaini)

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Last modified on 06 October 2016